There are many types of wrist stretches, each of which will loosen different muscles and tendons in the wrist. Since the wrist can move in many directions, it is important to perform a variety of wrist stretches to ensure that the entire wrist is properly warmed up before activity. Wrist stretches are important for athletes who need to use their grip and those who are performing non-athletic activities that put strain on the forearm, wrist and hand.
Of all the different types of wrist stretches, perhaps the simplest is to roll the wrist in clockwise and counter-clockwise motions. To do this, simply clench the hands loosely into a fist. While maintaining this loose fist, rotate the hand in either a clockwise or counterclockwise motion, trying to maintain as wide an arc as possible. After several repetitions in one direction, reverse the direction and perform the same number of repetitions.
Another important wrist stretch involves pulling the hand back in order to stretch the lower part of the wrist and forearm. There are a number of different ways to do this, but one easy way is to hold the arm straight in front of the body with the palm facing down. From this position, raise the fingers toward the ceiling so that the hand starts to point up. With the other hand, grasp the fingers of the outstretched hand and gently pull the fingers back toward the body. This will stretch the underside of the forearms and will loosen the lower part of the wrist as well.
A similar wrist stretch will stretch the upper forearms and the upper wrist. Using the same starting position, with the arms stretched out in front of the body and the palm down, this time point the fingers toward the floor. With the other hand, once again grip the fingers of the outstretched hand and pull them toward the body.
There are a number of other wrist stretches that can help to loosen the wrist prior to activity. Regardless of which technique someone uses, it is crucial that the wrist is loose prior to strenuous activity. Wrist stretches are important for any athlete who uses the hands. Thus, wrist stretches are important prior to participation in sports such as racquetball, tennis, baseball, basketball, weightlifting and martial arts. Wrist stretches also are important for non-athletic activities such as using a computer keyboard for an extended period of time, playing a musical instrument or using household tools.